Buying the Yarn You “Need” vs. the Yarn You “Like” & How Far Are You Willing to Go to Make Your Knitting “Perfect”?

I love bright neon colors. And speckles, you can never have too many speckles.  Except when you do.  Going through my stash, I realized that I have no contrast colors, everything looks like unicorn barf mixed in with dots.

I had read a trick, photograph your knitting in black & white and if you don’t see contrast between the shades it means you don’t have any.  I didn’t even have to do that, I already knew that it would all fade in together.  Not that that would be bad, but when you spend the time doing Fair Isle you can be sure you want it to show, at least a little.

Last night I decided to stash-bust some more.  I got excited when I found some purple, yellow/brown speckled, and bright blue DK weight yarn.  YES!!! The colors complimented each other, this WILL work!!!  Yeah, no…

Of course I forgot to see if any of the colors were brighter to stand out.  As I began knitting I realized that even the blue wasn’t bright enough against the other two.  The original pattern had a white in it for contrast.  Ooops…

It’s still pretty, I’m not going to frog it, but I guess this is another indicator that I should swatch. I keep thinking that swatching is only for gauge or to see if you like the drape, I forgot that it goes for color too.

Which leads to my next 2 questions:

Should yarn be bought in more neutral, or less speckled, colors, even if you don’t necessarily love the color?

and

How Far Are You Willing to Go to Make Your Knitting “Perfect”?

For question #1 I’m starting to like the idea of buying a single colored, or slightly tonal, yarn. Enough for a whole sweater.  This way I’ll have contrast with my beloved neons and if there’s a textured pattern on the knitting it’ll actually show up. It’s counter-intuitive for me, but after stash-diving I noticed that I keep looking for 2 or 3 skeins of a single color.  So here goes nothing, next time I get yarn it’s going to be beige!!!

And as for how far I’d go to make my knitting perfect, if it’s an obviously visible use of a technique I’d do it, if it’s not going to show I won’t bother.  Because if a technique doesn’t come naturally to me I won’t remember to use it till I’m halfway done and then I’ll stress about not having done it and that, for me, takes the fun out of the knitting.  And isn’t that the whole point of it?  To have fun?

 So here are the techniques I won’t do unless necessary:

  • Jogless single round stripes (I’m still trying to figure out a good way to do this, if I do I might keep doing it)
  • Tubular CO – I’m very good at this actually, but if it’s fingering weight yarn and I have to BO over 100 sts using the sewn BO to match it I’m not going to bother.
  • Slipping the purl stitches in ribbing on WS – this is to stop the ribbing from stretching out. Not once have I remembered to do this.
  • Wrapping yarn in the opposite direction on selvedge purl stitches – hella no, two teachers have told me to do this and it’s so unnatural I just can’t (sorry Patty and Melissa!)
  • As for color, unless it’s really bad, once I’ve started, it’s staying as is

On the other hand I will always:

  • Do the alternating long-tail CO for ribbing
  • Mattress stitch every single stitch, no matter how long the piece
  • Will always use fully fashioned increases and decreases
  • Will always leave 2 stockinette stitch selvedge sts

Back to knitting!!!

IMAG2229

* Photo #1 is my jogless mess, I’m still trying to get the hang of it.  It’s not going well.

* Photo #2 shows the lack of contrast and a blister on my pinky – the way I hold the yarn rubs agains it.

 

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